Rise in the number of symbolic defections
Notme.ie sees a rise in the number of people symbolically defecting
This website was set up to allow people to register that given the option, they would officially the church they were brought up in. Over the last two weeks over 100 people have registered a symbolic defection. Many have offered reasons why they are doing this, which you can find on the directory page. This rise in numbers relates to the shocking sexual abuse of over a thousand children by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania and its cover up by the Catholic Church.
Canon Law removed the option to formally defect from the Catholic Church. In Ireland it is only possible to ask the church to register the fact that you would, if the church acknowledged your freedom of conscience, defect from it. This can be done by writing to the Bishop of the diocese in which you were baptised. If known give the parish and date of your baptism and if possible provide a copy of your baptismal certificate. You will need to outline why you are defecting. The response to this letter can vary from diocese to diocese. Some will accept your wish to register your defection, others will ask for a meeting or will not respond and you will have to write a few times. The best outcome from this is that you will receive a letter acknowledging that you wish to register that, if given the option you would choose to defect. The church will record this as a de facto defection.
NotMe.ie lets you informally and symbolically leave the religion you were raised up in. In the case of the Catholic Church, it does not impact how they view your religious standing. However it is a way for you to publicly identify as not Catholic. This symbolic gesture supports the separation of church and state. It does not signify or support atheism or humanism as many religious people also support church and state separation.
However, this is not the solution. It is unacceptable that the Catholic Church refuses to allow people who no longer identify as Catholic to formally leave the church. Atheist Ireland calls on the Catholic Church to recognise and respect the human rights of those who wish to no longer remain part of their religion.